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 Olga Ross Hannon  (1890 - 1947)

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Lived/Active: Montana/Illinois/Arizona / Canada      Known for: mountain landscape and Indian culture paintings, silkscreen

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Olga Ross Hannon   (1890 – 1947)
Born September 15, 1890 in Moline, Illinois, Olga Ross Hannon was the daughter of Peter M. and Caroline Ross.  Unable to complete her early education because of ill health, she later attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, graduating in 1911.  She also studied at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts (now Parson School of Design); the Snow-Froehlick School of Industrial Arts in Chicago; and the Art Students League in New York City.
Hannon began her teaching career as head of the art department at Ferry Hall in Lake Forest, Illinois in 1916.  Originally named The Young Ladies Seminary at Ferry Hall, the school had been founded in 1869 - it soon became known as a school for daughters of the Mid-western social elite.  Her short time there was followed by three years as an art instructor and art supervisor in Sheridan, Wyoming.  In 1921 she began her long association with Montana State College (now Montana State University) in Bozeman, Montana.  Beginning as an assistant professor of art and department head (1921 – 1924), she became a professor of art (1924 – 1928), and finally professor of applied art (1928 – 1947).
Hannon did many studies of the Rocky Mountains and remnants of the early mining and pioneer towns, both in Montana and Colorado, where she taught summers at Colorado State College of Education and the University of Colorado, Boulder.  She also sketched in New Mexico and Arizona.
In her later years, Hannon executed numerous watercolors of the Native Americans of Montana and Canada following visits to the reservations.  In the 1940’s, she and colleague Jessie Wilber set upon a project to create, in a series of silk-screen plates, realistic rendition of Blackfeet tipis.  She spent the summers of 1944 and 1945 at encampments in Montana and southern Alberta making sketches and taking slides.  She died however, before completing the project.
The artist held the position of art editor for the Montana Education Association magazine and was also a contributing writer for Design Magazine.  Her exhibitions included those of the Northwest Artists, Seattle; the Second Nation Exhibition of American Art, New York; at the Portland Art Museum, Oregon and the Denver Art Museum.  Montana State University held a retrospective exhibition of her work in 1947.

Submitted by Edward P. Bentley, Art Historian, East Lansing, Michigan
Biography: excerpted from: Kovinick, Phil; Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick.  An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West. 1998.  Falk, Peter Hastings (Editor).  Who Was Who in American Art.  1999.

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